It’s likely you’ve heard about Maggie Rogers already. We all know that’s not gonna stop me from doing my bit here according to my own particular idiom, but it is nevertheless a thing that needs to be acknowledged. Alaska is a certified Internet Event after her, and I’m quoting her directly here, “gif-able moment with Pharrell” and I linked Alaska down there like I damn well must because in addition to being a phenomenon it is a planet-killer payload of quality.
I’m gonna keep it simple on this one. First, hot knowledge bomb for you. Her name is not Christine. It’s Héloïse Letissier, which may be the most French name I’ve ever seen, and I keep pronouncing it in a truly awful French accent in my head over and over. I’m talking Steve Martin in The Pink Panther bad, here.
But never mind that. Brass tacks: “Tilted” is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long, long time.
Come with me on a vision quest for a minute. Picture the word “slinky” in your mind. No, dammit, not Slinky®. Slinky the adjective. Cat burglars and black dresses and smoky nightclubs, steamy noir streets, tuxedos and delicate curls of cigarette smoke against an inky sky, right? Now, imagine slinky as a sound. That’s Marian Hill. That’s what they do. It’s jazz, it’s dubtronica, it’s chill tempos, thick bass and sultry melodies that radiate classy cool while they whisper untoward nothings in your ear.
Sometimes, the music doesn’t click. You listen, you hear, but you don’t find it. It’s not there. Weeks, months, years later you come back and there it is. Like it was always there. And it kind of languidly stares over its metaphorical shoulder at you as if to indicate it was right there the whole time, where were you looking and you sort of semi shrug at the mental apparition and look abashedly at your hallucinatory shoes and think something empty and trite at it like “Brains are weird.
So I’ve got a little something for you here. A little of that good good, you know what I mean? I’m not gonna lie, this stuff right here, this will mess you up. This will: Mess. You. Up. You don’t wanna get into this Ryn Weaver situation unless you’re looking for some of that Singapore Suites stuff. Some of that Grade A+. Uncut.
Yeah, I’m sick of that metaphor also.
So, I don’t know how listening to music works for all of you. Everyone kind of ingests and internalizes these things differently. For me in particular and in service of this particular narrative, I’ve got this one little alcove in my mental musical taste pavilion set aside especially for a certain kind of electronica that I cannot trivially define with a genre boundary. This Department of Lovely Electronica, it has a kind of continuously listening spidey-sense steadfastly monitoring the musics that enter into my ears ever vigilant for the undefinable hallmarks of what it needs.
Part 1 (in a continuing series): Please Clap Your Hands. The Bird and The Bee are crazy good. How could they not be? Brilliant production/instrumentation from the well-traveled Greg Kurstin (No kidding: Sia, The Flaming Lips, Kylie Minogue, Beck, Rilo Kiley, and Jane’s Addiction) and swoon-worthy vocals by perennial crush-inducer Inara George come together in a magical tropicália-infused electronically-augmented ear-gasm that just does not quit. At times evoking shades of Jem, Frou Frou and Bitter:Sweet, at times eschewing comparison, The Bird and The Bee deliver one thing consistently: quality.
Rebecka Törnqvist, my Swedish crush. Melting Into Orange is a very unique album. Her mix of light electronic and jazz is novel enough, but with her bell-clear voice piercing the mix with just the right touch of reverb, there’s not much to dislike. I’m finding it difficult to present anything close to a representative sample of the album, so I just posted two I like. You should also listen to Wit Waltz, Cuckoo and The Poachers, if you’re serious about the process.
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